×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Stephen Curry, Viola Davis and Julius Tennon Join ‘Emanuel’ Charleston-Shooting Documentary as Executive Producers

Viola Davis and Stephen Curry have signed on as executive producers of “Emanuel,” a documentary about the 2015 mass murder of black churchgoers by a white supremacist.

Unanimous Media, the production company of NBA superstar Curry, and Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions join as executive producers of the film alongside Dane Smith, David Segel and Tina Segel.

“Emanuel” documents the events of June 17, 2015, when 21-year-old Dylann Roof walked into a bible-study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., and shot and killed nine African-Americans during their closing prayer.

Directed by Brian Ivie (“The Drop Box”), the documentary is produced by John Shepherd, Mike Wildt and Dimas Salaberrios. “Emanuel” was made in direct partnership with the city of Charleston and all 10 affected families, featuring interviews with survivors and family members. Producers describe the film as “a poignant story of justice and faith, love and hate, and the healing power of forgiveness.”

The “Emanuel” team is looking for a distribution partner for the film, which is a big reason Davis and Curry came on board. CAA is handling worldwide sales for the project.

The 75-minute film premiered at Geena Davis’ 2018 Bentonville Film Festival in May, where it won the jury prize award for documentary, and screened at the Heartland International Film Festival in October, where it was the audience-award winner. It will screen at the DOC NYC festival, which runs Nov. 14-15.

The events of that day in 2015 “served as a stark reminder of the power of racism,” Viola Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions said in a joint statement. “We, along with the country, grieved each family’s loss. Yet, miraculously, from this devastation we witnessed tremendous benchmarks of humanity. The survivors found courage to love in the face of hate. JuVee is proud to be a part of this healing and truth telling along with Unanimous Media, Brian Ivie and John Sheppard.”

Curry said in a statement, “‘Emanuel’ is an incredibly powerful film and we’re honored to come on board as executive producers. The documentary highlights how a horrible tragedy can bring a community together, and spreads an important message about the power of forgiveness. Stories like this are the reason we created Unanimous and entered the entertainment space. I hope the film inspires others like it does me.”

Unanimous Media was founded by Curry, CEO Jeron Smith and CCO Erick Peyton to produce TV, film and digital content mostly centered around family, faith and sports. The company announced a multiyear development and production deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment in April. “The ‘Emanuel’ documentary truly embodies Unanimous’ core values,” said Smith. “The shooting was intended to incite fear and hopelessness, but instead the victims and their families exhibited love and faith. This film celebrates their strength, and we couldn’t be more honored to be a part of it.”

Director Brian Ivie said, “I could not have asked for better partners than Stephen, Viola, and their teams to represent this story, and more importantly, these families, and their strong faith, to the world. We are beyond grateful.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Little Women Movie

    Alexandre Desplat on Pushing the Boundaries With 'Little Women'

    The slate of awards hopefuls is new each year, but there is always a sense of continuity, of new contenders’ connections to the past. For example, Alexandre Desplat, a strong Golden Globes and Oscar possibility this year for his score to Sony’s “Little Women,” can trace the influence of his predecessors on his work. Growing [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Sequel Being Explored by Todd Phillips, Warner Bros.

    “Joker,” the $1 billion-grossing comic-book smash, may take another look at the fraying mind of Arthur Fleck. Warner Bros. film chief Toby Emmerich has met with writer and director Todd Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver to explore possible ideas for a sequel to the drama about the early days of the Clown Prince of Crime. [...]

  • Mindy Kaling photographed by Victoria Stevens

    Mindy Kaling to Host 22nd Costume Designers Guild Awards

    Mindy Kaling announced Wednesday that she will host the 22nd Costume Designers Guild Awards. “I’m thrilled to be hosting the Costumes Designers Guild Awards. Costume design and fashion are close to my heart, and I promise many, possibly too many, outfit changes,” Kaling wrote on Instagram. View this post on Instagram Hey guys! I’m so [...]

  • FROZEN 2 - In Walt Disney

    Will 'Frozen 2' Heat Up a Frosty Box Office?

    How enduring is “Frozen” fever? Six years after audiences were first introduced to Princesses Anna and Elsa, Disney is returning to Arendelle this weekend with the big-screen debut of “Frozen 2. The original made history as the highest-grossing animated movie ever, raking in $1.2 billion worldwide in 2013. This time around, the powerful sisters are [...]

  • Nederland, Amsterdam, 09-10-2019-Orwa Nyrabia, artistic director

    IDFA Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia on Documentary Cinema's Bright Future

    “Where do you want to start,” Orwa Nyrabia says, with a smile. “I’m in full festival mode!” Just a year into the job and Nyrabia, IDFA’s artistic director, can’t wait to get stuck into his second edition. The festival’s founder, Ally Derks, who bowed out in 2017 after 30 years at the helm, was a [...]

  • Timothee Chalamet poses for photographers at

    Timothée Chalamet to Make London Stage Debut With Eileen Atkins in '4000 Miles'

    Timothee Chalemet is set to take to the London stage for the first time, appearing next spring in Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play “4000 Miles.” Matthew Warchus will direct the production at The Old Vic, which will also star Eileen Atkins (“The Crown,” “Gosford Park”). The play opens April 2020. It turns on the story [...]

  • CJ-CGV Cinemas

    CJ CGV Sells $286 Million Stake in Asian Cinema Businesses

    CJ CGV, the Korean movie theaters giant, is to raise $286 million from the sale of a slice of its Indonesian, Vietnamese and Chinese businesses. The company, which has its own stock market listing and is affiliated to the CJ Group, which includes CJ E&M and CJ Entertainment, said this week that it had sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content